Port Manatee says it has signed an agreement to keep Del Monte fruit coming into the Florida Gulf Coast port for as many as 20 more years.
Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc., which has imported fruit into the deepwater Florida seaport since 1989, is now signed to a lease extension with Port Manatee through August 30, 2021, with options for three additional extensions of five years each. If all options are exercised, Del Monte will be doing business at Port Manatee until at least 2036.
“Extension of Port Manatee’s long-term partnership with Del Monte demonstrates the mutual commitment on the part of our port and a most-valued tenant,” said Betsy Benac, chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority
, which at its meeting today [August 18] approved the new agreement for Del Monte’s distribution facility at Port Manatee.
Port Manatee’s executive director, Carlos Buqueras, added, “We look forward to sharing success with Del Monte for decades to come.”
One of the North America’s largest marketers and distributors of fresh produce, Del Monte deploys refrigerated vessels to weekly import bananas and pineapples from Central America via containers and pallets. Export cargo includes linerboard that is used for packaging, as well as various third-party containers and project cargos.
“We are very pleased to continue our relationship with Port Manatee,” said Brian Giuliani, Del Monte’s Port Manatee-based port manager. “The cooperation with Port Manatee is exceptional and has been vital to the growth of our business at Port Manatee.”
Since 1989, Del Monte has moved 8.7 million short tons of cargo through Port Manatee, while Del Monte’s Southeast distribution center at Port Manatee has flourished to become the company’s second-largest U.S. facility.
Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico
,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal and Cuba’s Port of Mariel, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.